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Belarus votes in referendum

Belarus voted in a referendum on Sunday to approve a new constitution that abolishes the country’s non-nuclear status. The approval comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens nuclear weapons and Belarus has started to act as a base for Putin’s Russian army in his invasion of Ukraine.

Russian news agencies quote Belarus’ Central Election Commission as saying that 65.2 percent of those who voted voted for the new constitution. 

The outcome comes as no surprise, given that President Alexander Lukashenko rules Belarus with a heavy hand and allows little opposition to his policies.

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The new constitution allows nuclear weapons to be placed in Belarus for the first time since the country renounced them after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. “If you station nuclear weapons in Poland or Lithuania, along our borders, I will turn to Putin and ask him to return the nuclear weapons I gave away without any conditions,” Lukashenko warned the West on Sunday.

The war in Ukraine took another turn on Sunday as Putin put nuclear forces on edge as the ultimate threat.

Belarus votes in referendum to end non-nuclear status

Belarus votes in referendum

Belarus may help Russia on Monday

According to speculation, Belarus will help Russia with the deployment of troops in the war against Ukraine. Belarusian paratroopers are said to have been ordered to fly to Ukraine around 5 a.m., Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency reported .

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UNIAN relies on information from Andrei Stristjak of the non-governmental organization Bysol, which works for the victims of political repression in Belarus. This information could not be verified.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Belarusian President Alexandr Lukashenko had assured on Sunday that he did not want to intervene in the war. 

On Monday morning, talks will begin between Ukraine and Russia over a possible peace settlement on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.

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